The image of the bank is changing. The time to stand in line for 15 minutes to have a simple operation is over. The multiplicity of means of communication and banking opens the door to new possibilities…
However, for their part, banking players face a major challenge, the need to dematerialize to reduce costs, while maintaining the closeness that customers are looking for.
In September 2012, Exton Consulting and EFMA conducted a study with 3,500 people in 7 European countries. It revealed that 86% of Internet users use online banking services and log into their accounts an average of twice a week. The French stand as the most important users of these services with 92% of Internet users, 86% of whom have already done simple online banking transactions (transfers, appointments, etc.).
Contradiction? The French are also the ones who benefit most from a dedicated physical consultant (8 out of 10 people) and the network of agencies is the densest in Europe.
What feedback are banks using to optimize?
Banks can move to several solutions: “self-service” use of anonymous customers, 100% online bank branches have flourished in recent years.
Second solution: closeness and increased coherence that will allow transparency of the relationship across all communication channels. It is the latter that has been chosen recently to meet the needs of seamless interaction of customers.
Thus new types of agencies are flourishing, “digital” agencies. These are aimed at putting technology at the service of proximity and promoting customer relations 2.0, appointments in lounge space, videoconferencing, hi-tech space in customer service, touch tablet for electronic signature etc.
Cross-channel as a common thread
According to a 2002 TNS study, 38% of French smartphone owners will visit their physical branch less than before. So banking players are expanding the channels: agency, telephone, Internet. The customer can then initiate a banking transaction on one channel and continue the same in other circumstances.
Clarity and transparency are the key words, in the long term, advisors and clients will use similar interfaces.
In your opinion, should banks still make efforts to improve customer relations?